If California voters legalize the use of recreational marijuana at the polls tomorrow, the State’s DUI laws may have to undergo a radical change.
Unlike the factors that go into proving alcohol intoxication, the State currently has no standard for determining THC intoxication. Under Proposition 64, the recreational use of marijuana would be legalized. In addition, the law would permit individuals to grow as many as 6 plants for personal consumption. Users could purchase marijuana from distributors. Those purchases would be taxed at 15%.
If the measure passes, the state expects to collect about $1 billion in tax revenue annually, $15 million of which would be earmarked for officer training and the establishment of intoxication standards. An additional $125 million would be set aside for local law enforcement grants, but that doesn’t address the concerns of groups that say the State will simply not be prepared to deal with the sheer number of drivers who will get behind the wheels of their cars while under the influence of marijuana.
Opponents say that Californians need to look no farther than Colorado, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2013. Since that time, traffic fatalities in the state have increased 48%. Traffic fatalities in the State of Washington also doubled in the year following the legalization of recreational marijuana use.
Of particular concern to opponents of the measure are technologies that are designed to increase the potency of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Opponents say that high potency marijuana significantly increases a driver’s impairment, but the lack of a firm intoxication standard significantly reduces the likelihood of a criminal DUI conviction.
Los Angeles DUI lawyer
It’s important to remember that if you’re cited for impaired driving while under the influence of THC, the administrative and legal process is identical to that of being cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. If you’re facing a DUI arrest, whether it involves drugs or alcohol, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County DUI case.
Photo Credit: Torben Hansen, via Flickr.com